Google Lens has been a long time coming since its announcement at I/O in May. It officially launched with the Pixel 2 and 2 XL and yesterday it also started rolling to the first generation Pixel and Pixel XL. However, that was and still is only in the Photos app. Lens, if you recall, should work both for Photos you've already taken but also for instantaneous visual searches in Assistant without requiring you take a photo first.
The latter part isn't live yet and everyone's been wondering why. The answer came a few days ago by way of two Googlers on Twitter who explained that the Assistant integration of Lens is still in the making and will be live "in the next few weeks." It seems that it's still not ready to go live, even as a Preview, and requires a bit more polishing before its grand debut.
We're adding Lens into Assistant in the next few weeks. All still a preview - start narrow, will beef up as we go. Thnx for playing with it!
— Aparna Chennapragada (@aparnacd) October 20, 2017
We're bring Lens to the Assistant in a few weeks. Polishing the UI a bit and ensuring that the assistant specific features work well.
— Rajan Patel (@rajanpatel) October 20, 2017
As a refresher, here is one of the best demos of Lens in Assistant we've seen, done during GDD Europe. The combination of camera and voice search with smart recognition of the money bills and proper conversion is just fantastic. I'm happy to wait a few more weeks if this is what we'll be getting when Lens goes live in Assistant.